Education Feature Stories

WSFS Bank & WSFS Community Foundation Pledge $35,500 to Provide Hundreds of Technology Devices to Area Students for Online Learning

WSFS Bank, the primary subsidiary of WSFS Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WSFS), recently announced a $35,500 pledge from the Bank and the WSFS Community Foundation to provide laptops, tablets and internet devices for students from low-to-moderate income families throughout the Bank’s footprint.

As the pandemic has impacted school plans and curriculums, and with many districts turning to virtual or hybrid learning methods to start the school year, the need for technology devices for students has increased.

The grants will be awarded to the following organizations and schools:

  • United Way of Delaware for students in New Castle and Sussex Counties (Delaware)
  • Independence Mission School (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Widener Partnership Charter School (Chester, Pa.)
  • KIPP School (Camden, NJ).

“During this time of the year, WSFS typically runs a school supply drive with our Associates giving hundreds of baskets of supplies to schools in the most underserved areas,” said Vernita L. Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS Bank. “In the current environment, we understand technology is the most needed school supply to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in online learning. For WSFS, it was the right thing to do, at the right time. This initiative aligns  with the WSFS Community Foundation’s mission and our commitment to serve and help those in need in our communities to live a good life.”

“Delaware, like the majority of the country, has experienced challenges in ensuring children from vulnerable communities have access to the tools necessary to navigate virtual learning in their homes,” said Michelle A. Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Delaware. “Many families are not in the position to secure the technology necessary for distance learning. Thanks to WSFS, we’ve been able to galvanize resources to place devices in the hands of families that need them most.”

“We are so grateful for the generosity of partners like WSFS Bank and their commitment to the continued education of Camden students during this time,” said Drew Martin, Executive Director of KIPP New Jersey. “Now, more than ever, having access to technology is critical and this donation helps ensure our students have the tools they need to start the school year strong.”   

The WSFS Community Foundation previously provided $300,000 in grants to 21 local nonprofits engaged in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, WSFS Bank provided a $200,000 donation to four community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to utilize for relief grants to help accelerate recovery efforts of local small businesses within the Bank’s footprint.

About the WSFS Community Foundation
The WSFS Community Foundation focuses on supporting quality public education grades K-12, health and human service programs for the homeless and needy, economic and business growth, and art education. Grants are awarded for initiatives that are innovative, creative, sustainable and replicable.

About WSFS Financial Corporation
WSFS Financial Corporation is a multi-billion-dollar financial services company. Its primary subsidiary, WSFS Bank, is the oldest and largest locally managed bank and trust company headquartered in Delaware and the greater Philadelphia region. As of June 30, 2020, WSFS Financial Corporation had $13.6 billion in assets on its balance sheet and $20.8 billion in assets under management and administration.

WSFS operates from 115 offices, 90 of which are banking offices, located in Pennsylvania (54), Delaware (43), New Jersey (16), Virginia (1) and Nevada (1) and provides comprehensive financial services including commercial banking, retail banking, cash management and trust and wealth management.

Other subsidiaries or divisions include Arrow Land Transfer, Cash Connect®, Cypress Capital Management, LLC, Christiana Trust of Delaware, NewLane Finance, Powdermill Financial Solutions, West Capital Management, WSFS Institutional Services, WSFS Mortgage, and WSFS Wealth Investments.

Serving the greater Delaware Valley since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. For more information, please visit

Education Feature Stories

Academy360 Awarded “Best in New Jersey Farm to School Award”

From left, NJDA Farm to School Coordinator Erin Maguire, Academy360 Executive Chef Michael Matthews, Spectrum360’s Carol Minardi, and Academy360 Principal Lynn Muir (Photo provided).

(LIVINGSTON) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today presented Academy360 in Livingston with the “Best in New Jersey Farm to School Award” for its Culinary Academy360 and gardening program.

The presentation kicked off the celebration of the 10th annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week being held September 21-25.

Academy360 is a program of the NJ nonprofit Spectrum360, which serves children and adults with autism and other related disabilities.

“It is great to see Farm to School used to expand horizons by using local produce in the teaching kitchen and for growing plants in the greenhouse,” NJDA Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher said. “Academy360 uses Farm to School as a therapy and skills tool for students with special needs.”

Academy360 Executive Chef Michael Matthews and  school Principal Lynn Muir were on hand to accept the award.

“We try to teach our students the full circle of food from seed to harvest to the kitchen and finally the table,” Matthews said. “We have a greenhouse on campus that we can take full advantage of, for items such as herbs, assorted greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc., depending on the season, of course.”

When the COVID-19 Pandemic began last March, Matthews continued to teach by using Google Classroom. He decided the theme for the cooking classes for each week, and he and the students prepared the dishes.

Critical lessons such as culinary math, culinary science, weights, measure, food safety, kitchen safety, proper personal hygiene, world geography, appropriate cutlery skills, time, and temperature were reinforced while creating the dishes.

To support families and provide further enrichment to the Spectrum360 community, Matthews also led an after-school virtual cooking class for all family, staff, and students, which allowed them to explore everything from cake decorating to barbeque preparations.

In addition to the award presented to Academy360, 23 schools are being recognized for their Farm to School efforts in the 2019-20 school year. To enter the competition, schools had to showcase how their work with farmers and the community ensures that students have access to healthy fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias and classrooms.

Due to unforeseen circumstances and school closures last school year, schools had to react quickly and creatively with their meals. Many schools provided a variety of fresh produce in their grab and go meals with funding from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (FFVP) and Department of Defense (DoDFresh) Programs.

Other 2019-2020 School Year applicants were:

  • Absegami High School, Galloway
  • Bridgeton High School, Bridgeton
  • Broad Street School, Bridgeton
  • Buckshutem Road School, Bridgeton
  • Central Jersey College Prep Charter School, Somerset
  • Cherry Street School, Bridgeton
  • Donald M. Payne Sr. School of Technology, Newark
  • Essex County – West Caldwell Tech, West Caldwell
  • Geraldyn O Foster Early Childhood Center, Bridgeton
  • Hamburg Elementary School, Hamburg
  • High Bridge Elementary, High Bridge
  • Indian Avenue School, Bridgeton
  • John P. Stevens High School, Edison
  • Juan Pablo Duarte – Jose Julian Marti School 28, Elizabeth
  • Mount Olive Township School District, Budd Lake
  • Nicholas LaCorte School # 3, Elizabeth
  • Paul Robeson Charter School, Trenton
  • Plainfield Schools, Plainfield
  • Quarter Mile Lane, Bridgeton
  • Red Bank Primary School, Red Bank
  • Somerset Intermediate School, North Plainfield
  • West Avenue School, Bridgeton

These schools received Jersey Fresh Farm to School promotional materials kits including Jersey Fresh Farm to School masks, banner, stickers, and seasonality charts.

All Schools who submit an application and meet the criteria are added to our list of School Recognition Program Schools. To see all Recognition Program Schools and Farms, check our program map.

Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week was designated as the last week of each September by a law signed in 2010. During this week, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture showcases schools that connect with New Jersey farmers to purchase local produce for school meals to increase student consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.  

The influence of the Farm to School Program led to more than 250 schools purchasing local produce from their main distributor, more than 200 districts buying local produce directly from farms and using a curriculum that ties cafeteria meals to healthy eating education and more than 100 districts organizing field trips to farms.

For more information, click here.

Education Recent News

University of Maine Announces Spring 2020 Dean’s List

The University of Maine recognized 4,210 students for achieving Dean’s List honors in the Spring 2020 semester. Of the students who made the Dean’s List, 2,769 are from Maine, 1,333 are from 41 other states and 108 are from 43 countries other than the U.S.

Please note that some students have requested that their information not be released; therefore, their names are not included.

New Jersey Students (by County/Town)

Burlington County

Cinnaminson: Hannah Duffy, Alexandra Kaiser
Delran: Doug Robins
Medford: Pat Hurley
Moorestown: Sophie Hudson, Dennis Wichterman
Mount Laurel: Sarah Barakat, Jim Conlow
Shamong: Alexandria Lennox

Camden County

Audubon: Joseph Miller
Blackwood: Bria Lamonica
Bellmawr: Darby Casey
Berlin: James Bilella
Blackwood: Megan Sinclair
Cherry Hill: Rob Telschow
Haddon Township: Paul Dezii
Haddonfield: Dean Kirby
Somerdale: Lauren McCann
Voorhees: Alex Bromley, Daniel Morgan

Gloucester County

Franklinville: Kyle Denny, Kristina Littlehales
Swedesboro: Shannon Skilton
Wenonah: Madison Ala
Woodbury: Jason Witkowski

Bergen County

Allendale: Lauren Trainor
Dumont: Gabriella Peluso
Harrington Park: Brian Muggeo
Hillsdale: Carly Rahl
Leonia: Chloe Laboy
Montvale: Jonathan Cohen
Oakland: Gregg Festa, Conor Flynn, Liz Murray
Ramsey: Samantha Sudol, Mike Turso
River Vale: Chris DeMarchi
Rochelle Park: Morgan Belvin
South Hackensack: Ryan LoPiccolo, Michael Totaro
Teaneck: Michele Silva, Dean Williamson
Township of Washington: Charlotte Fisher
Upper Saddle River: Claire Jamieson
Westwood: Chloe Bilodeau, Ashley Grob, Alyssa McGlynn, Michael Straight

Cape May County

Cape May Court House: Evan Warburton
Villas: Caitlyn Jamison

Essex County

Bloomfield: Cyril Alo
Essex Fells: Ally DiFilippo
Glen Ridge: Sara Swett
Maplewood: Aran Wollard
Montclair: Deanna Kolenovic
Nutley: Juan Lovill
South Orange: Armand O’Keefe
West Caldwell: Steven Ferrarese

Hudson County

Bayonne: Natalie Fedotov
Kearny: Seamus Kane

Hunterdon County

Glen Gardner: Alainna Sharp
Hopewell: Shannon O’Grady
Port Murray: Jessie Suchovic
Whitehouse Station: Austin Westfield

Mercer County

Ewing: Krista Guenzel
Lawrence Township: Susanna Dapprich
Trenton: Zack Siracusa

Middlesex County

Parlin: Sara Griffin

Monmouth County

Atlantic Highlands: Ceejai Schnoor
Highlands: Shawn Palsgrove
Middletown: Lauren Otterbine
Millstone Township: Olivia Bullock
Morganville: Daniel Caesar
Oakhurst: Sofia Rivera

Morris County

Boonton: Matthew Eramian
Butler: Haley Florio
Califon: Kaleigh Kalb
Chatham: Megan Maltby, Stephen Piccari
Flanders: Kacey Roehrich, Orion-Bay Tucker
Kinnelon: Michael West
Lake Hopatcong: Bryan Harris
Landing: Ryan Mangano
Ledgewood: Dillon Miller
Long Valley: Trevor Mount
Madison: James McDonnell
Morris Plains: Clare Capuzzi, Zach Lisewski
Oak Ridge: Michael Kroll
Succasunna: Jon Rheinhardt

Ocean County

Beachwood: Jessie Bruno
Brick: Summer Egbert, Robert Hart
Forked River: Justin Bewley
Jackson: Zack Maynor
Little Egg Harbor Township: Emily Roth
Manahawkin: Savannah Bickel
Point Pleasant Boro: Courtney Yochim

Passaic County

Haledon: Abdel Mohamed
North Haledon: Henry Malpica
Paterson: Ashley Martinez
West Milford: Quinn Gridley, Shaelyn Huber

Salem County

Pilesgrove: Matthew Murphy

Somerset County

Bridgewater: Corey Biggs
Hillsborough: Rachael Richardson
Warren: Clayton Bush

Sussex County

Glenwood: Tea Brich
Highland Lakes: Krystoff Porter
Newton: Sarah Griffiths
Sandyston: Jack Sikora
Sparta: Julia Iannuzzi
Sussex: Randy Jackson

Union County

Berkeley Heights: Ryan Paliwoda
Clark: Matthew Owsiany
New Providence: Thomas Lust
Summit: Kayla Balsley, Dan Hicks

Warren County

Bloomsbury: Gabbi Kaczynski
Oxford: Matt Fluta
Phillipsburg: Josh Goldsmith, Matt Goldsmith
Stewartsville: Brody Oberly

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land grant, sea grant and space grant university. It is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service.

UMaine is the state’s only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.

UMaine currently enrolls 11,561 undergraduate and graduate students who have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars.

UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master’s, doctoral or professional science master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates.

The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit

Bright Side Education

NJM Insurance Group and Burlington County Institute of Technology Announce Recipients of Workplace Safety Scholarships

WEST TRENTON, NJ – August 18, 2020 – NJM Insurance Group (NJM), a leading property and casualty insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region, is proud to announce the recipients of its workplace safety scholarship, in partnership with Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT). The scholarship totals $10,000 in awards to five BCIT students and is designed to promote workplace safety.

Each winner has been awarded $2,000 toward their tuition and safety training. The scholarship, established in celebration of NJM’s 100th anniversary as a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), highlights NJM’s century-long commitment to workplace safety and community development.

The five winners of the scholarship are:

  • Kira Tabaco of Moorestown, who will continue her education at BCIT in the Adult Education Dental Radiology Program to become a Dental Hygienist;
  • Gianna Fantauzzi of Browns Mills, who will continue her education at Rowan College at Burlington County in the Radiography program;
  • Aleyna Kangal of Beverly, who will continue on the pre-med track at Rutgers University;
  • Tobiah Powell of Willingboro, who will study computer science at Rutgers University; and
  • Kinzey Paul of Burlington, who will study drafting in architecture and construction at Rowan College at Burlington County.

“With over 100 years of experience protecting employees, NJM remains committed to workplace safety, and ensuring the next generation of workers have that same awareness as they embark on their career paths,” said Tracy McManimon, SVP & Chief Underwriting Officer of NJM. “We are fortunate to have an institution like BCIT to support technical education in New Jersey, and we know these students will go on to do spectacular work in their fields.”

BCIT services Burlington County, New Jersey’s largest county, with campuses in Medford and Westampton. The institute offers a robust curriculum and apprenticeship programs in key industries. Last December, BCIT’s Adult Education program achieved Middle States Accreditation, validating the school’s quality, student achievement, and commitment to adult education.

“As a result of the generous scholarship opportunity sponsored by NJM, commemorating a century as a member of the National Safety Council, five BCIT seniors from the Class of 2020 will have a great start as they prepare to transition to their Career and Technical Education, post-secondary career pathways,” said Dr. Lisa J. English, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Burlington County Institute of Technology. “On behalf of the entire BCIT learning community, we would like to congratulate our scholarship recipients and to thank NJM, and the National Safety Council for their partnerships with our district, as well as their ongoing commitment to student achievement and safety.”

About NJM Insurance Group

NJM is New Jersey’s leading workers’ compensation insurance provider and among the leaders in personal auto and homeowners insurers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Founded in 1913, NJM’s mission is to provide value-based personal and commercial insurance solutions with the highest levels of service, integrity, and financial stewardship.

The Company’s enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to its earliest days, from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to keeping drivers safe on our roadways. More information is available at

About BCIT

The Burlington County Institute of Technology community cultivates a positive, student-centered environment where learners develop a toolkit of career and technical education skills aligned to real-world application, and the ability to successfully transition from school to career. 

BCIT students develop a level of mastery in preparation to become college and career ready, while participating in learning opportunities which provide the ability to obtain stackable, industry recognized credentials, college credits, and a depth of knowledge aligned with multiple career major pathways. More information is available at

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where they can make the most impact. More information is available at

Education Feature Stories

Bellmawr School District Releases Restart & Recovery Plan for Education

The Road Back – Restart and Recovery Plan for Education 2020-2021 Reopening Academic Plan for the Bellmawr School District was presented at the August 5, 2020 Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

Core Beliefs & Guiding Principles for Reopening Bellmawr Schools:

  • Health and Safety: for all students and staff
  • Communication: Ongoing among all constituents
  • Learning: Uphold the integrity of instructional programs
  • Engagement: Ensure equitable access for all students
  • Wellness: Prioritize social and emotional needs and development
  • Empathy: Caring for one another

Survey Responses

Parents/Guardians were recently surveyed.

One survey question asked: “Given the current situation, what do you believe would be the best course of action for the district in September?”

Parents/Guardians also responded about having their child/ children return to school physically at half capacity following social distancing guidelines.

Parents/Guardians also responded about how they felt about the various precautions being put in place.


  • Temperature screenings will be conducted upon entering school.
  • Isolation rooms will be utilized.
  • All visitors will be screened prior to admittance into the building.
  • Bellmawr staff will conduct self-screenings at home.

Social Distancing

  • All students are sitting at 6 feet apart with the class size from 10-12 students per class.
  • All special area classes are held in the classroom to limit the mixing of cohorts.
  • Grades K-4 lunch will be held in classrooms.
  • Grades 5-8, students will eat lunch in the cafeteria of 6-feet apart.

Face Coverings

  • Parents/Guardians have been asked to begin working on mask or face covering “endurance” so that the child/children are comfortable wearing and gradually building up the time they can tolerate wearing them.
  • There is an exemption for medical concerns.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

The district has comprehensive cleaning procedures for all buildings that are being expanded in response to COVID-19.

Extra Curricular Activities

Until February 1, 2021, field trips, extra curricular activities and clubs have been cancelled. There will be no assemblies.

Hybrid Schedule Option 1

Remote Learning Option 2

Special Education

First day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Plans are still fluid until the final number of students is ascertained.

Parents/Guardians should be prepared to pivot in the event of school closure.

To view the entire Power Point Presentation, click the image below: